Even with advancements in regenerative medicine, forever youthful skin remains unattainable. No matter how much skin care products are used, the skin will lose its properties naturally. But now, according to new research, maybe wrinkles that usually come with age are not inevitable.
The team of French researchers have found the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in maintaining skin cells and skin healing in older people. These mechanisms, described in mice study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, engage molecule CD98hc, which is involved in epidermis renewal and could be an indicator of the skin’s capacity for regeneration.
The epidermis, mostly consists of keratinocytes cells, which are renewed continuously over a 21-day cycle. These cells are situated on a membrane created of parts from the extracellular matrix that gives the junction with the deep layer of the skin called dermis. The surface layer of the skin is renewed by cell proliferation and differentiation that maintains the balance of adult tissues. This is called Homeostasis, and it is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment to maintain a stable, relatively constant condition of properties. What this means for us, is, it is important for tissue to operate properly and any alterations to it are responsible for the physical changes sometimes related to aging. Wound healing defects, sagging skin and more are all due to reduced skin cell proliferation.
The ATIP-Avenir team “Epidermal homeostasis and tumorigenesis” directed by Inserm researcher Chlo Feral, studied the many cellular factors concerned in maintaining this balance.
The team studied the various cellular factors concerned in maintaining this balance. Specific attention was paid to CD98hc, a molecule legendary for its interaction with receptors that cause skin aging. As we grow old, the activity of the transporter CD98hc and integrins (the receptors connected to the elements within the extra cellular matrix) is disturbed. So far, the mechanisms concerned had never been known.
In the study, the French researchers showed in vivo in mice that removing the gene CD98hc disturbs skin balance, and therefore the healing method. By modifying cell proliferation, removing this gene causes a fault within the hair follicle cycle.
The team has deciphered all the complicated mechanisms related to CD98hc, significantly integrin deregulation caused by this missing molecule in vivo. They suggest what was described in vitro: the amino acid transporter CD98hc modules the integrin signal, essential for skin regeneration. As such, CD98hc actively participates in skin renewal through the efficient and widespread recruitment of skin cells when needed.
[quote_box author=”Chloe Feral ” profession=”concludes.”]”CD98hc seems to be necessary for fast and effective skin renewal. Its reduced expression, discovered in vivo in adult mice, confirms its role in maintaining tissues, the hair follicle cycle and healing, that are disturbed as we grow old,” explain researcher at the French Cancer and Aging Research Institute. “The standing of carrier CD98hc in vivo might be an indicator of the skin’s capability to renew itself”[/quote_box]
Reference: The Journal of Experimental Medicine 2013 Jan 14;210(1):173-90. doi: 10.1084/jem. 20121651. Epub 2013 Jan 7.
CD98hc (SLC3A2) regulation of skin homeostasis wanes with age
Boulter E, Estrach S, Errante A, Pons C, Cailleteau L, Tissot F, Meneguzzi G, Féral CC.